Our 2018 Ultimate Bestie Road Trip took place in beautiful Arizona! Tameka, my best friend since 7thgrade, lives in Washington, DC and has pretty much lived thousands of miles away since college. Despite the distance, we are guaranteed to see each other for our yearly road trip! We’ve both never visited Arizona so it was the perfect fit for our road trip! This particular trip was perfect timing! I just recently shared my story of coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship and the last few months have been extremely draining. As I aim to get my power back, I know that spending time with people who genuinely love you is a MUST! You can quickly become accustomed to staying the bed or isolated when going through depression or coming out of an abusive relationship. This isn’t good at all. I read a great article in Forbes earlier this year, ” 5 Reasons Why Travel is Good for Your Mental Health”. Of course it helps with stress but the article mentions that new events and experiences help “rewire your brain” and boosts your mood and self-confidence! The article also mentions how traveling can help you reinvent yourself by expanding your mind! Well, I think I started the reinvention by coloring my hair blonde the night before the trip! New hair, new experiences, new me! I’m lovin’ it!
We arrived in Scottsdale, Arizona Friday morning, rented our red Jetta and headed to the resort for a day of pool action and relaxation! Our hotel of choice was the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch. We found this hotel on Expedia and it was also rated as one of Scottsdale’s most beautiful pools! This resort has 10 pools, an adult pool and a cute fake beach! I was surprised that it wasn’t crowded at all. The resort had a “Chill” theme with games and activities for adults and kids. Our participation was limited to the free spiked lemonade and photos with the snowman in the lobby. After all, the resort was just our resting place for our road trip!
We hit the road at 4:30am Saturday morning and prepared for a 4 hour drive to Antelope Canyon to tour the lower canyons. We used Ken’s Tours which costs $50 per person. It was worth every penny. Our tour guide Mo gave us the scoop on the canyon and how they were discovered by a Native American family when one of their sheep went missing. As they searched the grounds for the lost sheep, they found her in the most magical place now known as Lower Antelope. Here is the deal between “upper” and “lower” canyon…there are these beautiful beams of light that come thru Upper Canyon depending on the time of day (10am-11:30am are recommended times) However, lower canyon at 10:30am was just as beautiful. I honestly can’t tell the difference from the photos that I took on Tameka’s Samsung photo and what I’ve seen of Upper Canyon online.
After leaving the canyon, we drove just a few miles away to Horseshoe Bend! One word. WOW. It’s so beautiful. Although, I did cringe every time I saw someone sit at the edge with their feet dangling over. There are no rails, just a huge drop. It was super hot and windy so I would suggest proper attire. Sand and wind do not mix!
Once we hiked back to the car, we headed south to Jerome, Arizona, also known as Ghost Town. At the very tip of the Mingus mountain lies a small little tourist spot called Gold King Mine Ghost Town that has all kinds of left over buildings, cars and materials left over from 1953 when the miners left town after the oil dried up. It’s pretty creepy. Steven (the onsite guide who may have been slightly intoxicated) was nice enough to give us the run down on what happened in the small town of 300 people and ended his spill by saying, “You may want to leave now before the ghosts come out!” Uhm yeah. My best friend took it as a joke and wanted to stay a while longer to continue the tour. I, on the other hand, took that as a clear sign to move swiftly towards the car. Without a doubt, this was an episode of Scooby Doo that I had already seen before! Jerome, Arizona was a really cool place. We took great photos while there and no ghost were in the photos from what I can see. Afterwards, we stopped for some authentic Mexican food and the headed back to the resort because we were pooped!
The last part of our trip when drove an hour out to Eldorado Hot Spring to soak in the natural springs. I expected the price to be expensive but it only cost $15 per person. It’s suggested that you are nude so that the springs don’t get materials and chemicals from your clothing. We sat for an hour in our birthday suits with a beautiful desert view soaking up the sun and listening to the birds sing. It was awesome! Nothing fancy like a spa so don’t get so caught up on the look. The experience was peaceful and our first time at a natural spring absorbing all it’s healing properties. We left there and headed back to the hotel to quickly change for a gondola ride that is offered for only $10 at the hotel. It was the perfect way to wrap up the weekend! I can’t wait until next year! I miss my bestie already!
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